How To Make An Eye Mechanism - Design, 3D Printing & Assembly


Join the 3D printing revolution. Stan Winston Studio veteran and key mechanical effects designer at leading Creature FX studio, Legacy Effects, David Covarrubias (Avatar, Iron Man, The Lost World: Jurassic Park) shows you how to design, 3D print and assemble an animatronic eye mechanism using free CAD software and an affordable 3D printer.

In this innovative tutorial, you'll learn how you can begin your adventures into animatronics without the need for the expensive machinery usually required to shape metal: C&C mills, water jet metal cutters, lathes, etc. The resulting 3D Printed Eye Mechanism is as elegant and effective as those created by Covarrubias for Hollywood blockbusters, but can be achieved at a fraction of the cost.

Approximate Runtime - 04:44:15


  • Designing and fabricating a fully-functioning animatronic eye mechanism
  • A discussion of 3D modeling software
  • Designing organic parts: eyeball & swash plate, eye lids
  • Designing mechanical parts: servo block, pulley brackets, Ebar and pulleys
  • 3D Printing on a consumer grade additive manufacturing machine
  • Assembling your grown parts, from nuts and bolts to cables and servos
  • Setting up, programming and tuning a typical radio remote control unit


***DISCLAIMER - The software used in this lesson, Autodesk 123D, has undergone some changes since this lesson was recorded.  You can now use Autodesk Fusion360, which is free for personal and hobby use, and has similar functionality to the version of Autodesk 123D used in this lesson.***


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David Covarrubias